A celebration of the year: 2016-17

Wednesday 27th September 2017

Mike Dilger presents 'The Trials and Tribulations of a Natural History PresenterMike Dilger presents 'The Trials and Tribulations of a Natural History Presenter'

Over 80 people, including staff, trustees and members, joined us last Thursday for a look back at the last year at our Annual General Meeting.

The popular event was held at the Trust's Stafford Road HQ, where our Chair, Christopher Pennell MBE, opened the proceedings, before handing over to our CEO, Liz Ballard. In her presentation, Liz looked back at some of our highlights from the last year, including:

A round up of the Trust's activity, displayed at our AGMTo read more of our highlights from the last year, including a financial summary, download our Annual Review 2016-17.

Our keynote speaker on the night was The One Show's natural history star, Mike Dilger, whose passionate presentation left everyone in the room well and truly inspired.

Mike is an ecologist and natural history TV presenter and is probably best known for being the wildlife reporter on the BBC programme The One Show. Mike has Sheffield roots on his dad's side and spent an extensive time working in Vietnam, Tanzania and Ecuador as a field biologist, before returning to the UK to work in television.

Mike Dilger (centre) with Chair Christopher Pennell MBE (left) and CEO Liz Ballard (right)We were regaled with tales of Mike's misspent youth hiding in bushes as a birder, moth-hunting in Vietnam and breaking into a now long-standing career as one of the nation's favourite wildlife presenters.

Mike's passion and enthusiasm - and his cheeky jokes - are even more compelling in real life, and we were all entranced. His mission is "to reach the parts that other wildlife TV programmes can't reach" - and he is a brilliant prime time advocate for wildlife.

Mike is also an ecologist with plenty of field biology experience which he shared with us, as well as taking a moment to send out a more serious message:

"The UK produces world class conservationists - and they all start out by being inspired by the wildlife on their doorstep, just like I did. And that's why I'm so passionate about the work of The Wildlife Trusts."

The Trust also said goodbye to two outgoing trustees, Vice Chair Phil Warren, and Tony Whiting, who have completed their two terms. We would like to say a big thank you to Phil and Tony for all their hard work as trustees.

Finally we welcomed two new trustees onto our Board of Trustees, Alison Holt and Mark Ridler.

Our membership display standAlison is a Director and co-founder of Natural Capital Solutions Ltd, a consultancy that specialises in biodiversity and ecosystem services research and consulting. Prior to this, Alison had an academic career spanning 17 years, where her research focussed on understanding patterns in biodiversity and ecosystem service provision (the benefits that nature provides to people e.g. recreation and carbon sequestration).

Mark is a solicitor specialising in advising pension scheme trustees and their sponsoring companies. He has also acted as an independent trustee of pension schemes. Mark has always had an interest in wildlife and recently became involved in environmental campaigns, particularly the Smithy Wood campaign, and wishes to use his experience in trust and business law, as well as his enthusiasm for conservation, to further the objectives of the Trust.

Thank you to everyone who came along to celebrate the 2016-17 year with us!

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